To support value creation and risk management, UPP seeks to influence outcomes related to issues that can impact our ability to pay pensions in the long term. Leveraging our public-company votes is one way we can encourage positive change among investee companies and external investment managers and promote fair, efficient, and transparent financial market practices.
Our Proxy Voting Policy, which is updated yearly to align with evolving industry practices, outlines our approach to exercising our public company voting rights and responsibilities. It also includes guidelines reflecting our positions and expectations on topics that are important to us and our members. Our recently updated policy sets clear expectations for company directors on climate action and formalizes our support for Indigenous rights and reconciliation.
Voting for director accountability on climate change
UPP seeks to elect company directors who will reinforce long-term value creation and risk management on key topics, including climate change. Our updated proxy voting policy underlines our belief that effective oversight of climate is a board responsibility. We also expect directors in high-emitting sectors to ensure their companies are making progress on developing and implementing decarbonisation strategies consistent with the Paris Agreement.
These additions reflect our recently launched Climate Stewardship Plan and our Climate Transition Investment Framework by clarifying our proxy voting intentions and seeking evidence of climate action among investee companies. They align with established standards from the Taskforce on Climate related Financial Disclosures and the International Financial Reporting Standards Sustainability Disclosure Standards, as well as international pension peers who are leading on climate-related efforts.
Formalizing our support for Indigenous rights and reconciliation
UPP is committed to honouring Indigenous rights and reconciliation and taking action as outlined in the Call to Action #92 from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. This call to action asks Canadian businesses to apply the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to corporate policies and activities. Adding a new proxy voting provision referring to these important standards and supporting calls for companies to operate in alignment with them is an important step in our journey to integrate reconciliation throughout our work.
More about UPP’s proxy voting activities
Our proxy voting activities are a part of a broader responsible investing approach supporting risk management, value creation, and a duty to be active owners who consider stakeholder interests and material investment impacts. To support transparency and accountability, we publicly disclose our proxy voting activity at least annually, including the rationales for all votes against board or management recommendations and votes on shareholder resolutions.
Managing Director, Strategic Communications and External Relations
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